Conference News – now online on July 1st

Dear Friends,

lots of love and prayers to you at this time.

As you will know, NECN had planned Conferences in early June.  In the light of the lockdown we have made the decision to cancel these.

Instead, we will be having a free Online Conference on Wednesday July 1st.  Please save the date.

We will be sticking with the planned theme of leadership.  This will enable us to share and deepen learning about some of the really important pilot work going on around the country developing and encouraging local leadership in our Estate Churches.

It will also give us the chance to reflect on the tensions and experiences we are finding in this time of great challenge.

There will be more details soon.

In the meantime, please keep an eye on our website for resources and stories of things that are working in Estate Churches and communities (https://estatechurches.org/covid-19/).

If you have time to let us know anything you would like to share, please send it to us.

One really important thing in all this is that everyone is making it up as they go along.  Please don’t feel guilty if you are not able to do the same as some other people.  It is an exceptionally testing time.  Please look after yourself.  Make sure you get adequate rest, and keep your prayer life going.

Some of our Local Groups are meeting online, and have found this really helpful.  We have a Zoom account available for this – please contact Christine if you would like to book a slot (christinem@cofebirmingham.com).

Our friends at Jesus Shaped People (https://www.jesusshapedpeople.net/) are working on some excellent free resources for Estate Churches when we are able to physically come back together.  Materials to help us in the missional task of discerning how we are different, what God is calling us to do, and how we can be equipped to do this.  More details soon.

with best wishes,

Andy

Pope Francis’ Call to Prayer 25th March 2020

Invitation to Prayer
Invitation to Prayer from Pope Francis

 

Pope Francis has issued an invitation to Christian leaders and the faithful around the world to join him in praying the Lord’s Prayer on Wednesday 25 March (The Feast of the Annunciation) at 11.00 am GMT (12 noon in Rome).

A letter to Archbishop Justin from Cardinal Kurt Koch of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity can be downloaded from the link at the bottom of this post.. Archbishop Justin has replied to say that he will be joining the Pope in prayer at that time from Lambeth Palace.

Letter from Cardinal Koch

An invitation

Are you a church leader, community worker
or mission practitioner wondering what social distancing means for your work?
Are you wondering how others are coping?
If so, here’s an opportunity to connect and reflect together.
On Thursday 26th March at 8pm, we invite you to join us for a ‘Virtual Cuppa’; an online conversation to reflect on our physical, emotional and theological responses to the current Coronavirus situation.  We’ll offer some questions to guide discussion and there’ll be opportunity to think about how we might continue to support one another, going forward. Follow the link below to register and don’t forget to bring a brew!

Register at:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/virtual-cuppa-tickets-100525291854

All best,

Andrew, Carmel and Anna
Urban Life Core Team

rewriting the story – necn london conference

Over 45 Estate Church practitioners from across London and the South East gathered at St Thomas, Kensal Green last week for the first of NECN’s London Conferences.  Entitled London Estates: Rewriting the Story, we reflected on the range of positive estate church life, within the hard context we live.

Among many other things, Mike Long and Alan Everett told their story of ministering in the aftermath of Grenfell Tower.  You can view Mike’s presentation here:

NECN

Lis Goddard put together a very beautiful meditation on London Estates here:

city&estates presentation

One of the great benefits of the day was being part of a Group of people who minister in the same context – people who get it, and who can help share what they do that is imaginative and which works.  If you are interested in being part of one of our Groups, or in helping to form new Groups, please contact us.

Here is a reflection by Emma Ash on the day:

Simon Jones, David Martinez, and Joshua White, all have one thing in common: their names are posted high, under the Stations of the Cross at St Thomas’ Church, Kensal Town. Inside, the church the walls are as grey as the day they were plastered, making the black ink on the white paper stand out all the more. The white marble stations blend into the plastered wall, however, these names below, stand vividly, bringing with it a harrowing effect. There, joined with them, are a multitude of other names, all in a vertical line, all designated to a station. Fixated, I intended to find out more. These men, women, and children have all been murdered this year by knife crime. Their names stand as a reminder to the church to pray, to love those effected by knife crime and to work towards a day when no names in black ink will be posted on the grey plastered wall.

I stopped, prayed, and felt my heart give way as I empathised with the families that grieve. Chills ran down my spine and I knew that God had something powerful to tell us as we gathered at the NECN London Conference entitled “Rewriting the Story.” Yet, what is the current story regarding the Church and knife crime?

A few years ago, theft and burglary were the most common types of crime, however, more recently, violence has soared to the top. The Mayor of London’s statistics from 2018 tell us that 64.6% of those who serve less than 12 months in prison, reoffend. As of 2018, 75% of all knife crime murders are committed by black British males, under 25. The average annual cost to send one of these men to prison would be the same as it would be to send them to Eton College. The current story is one where the Church needs to think long and hard about how we reach out to these young men, partnering with organisations that help with rehabilitation.

Recently, the government has appointed a charitable foundation to help deliver a £200m Youth Endowment Fund, tackling serious violent crime. Churches and organisations can apply for grants if they are working with 10-14 year olds. Christian organisations such as XLP and Outbreak Pimlico, who spoke at the conference, are not only offering mentoring in schools but also safe places to meet in the evenings, teaching life skills to young people, helping to tackle the situation. The great idea behind Outbreak Pimlico is that three churches saw a need but couldn’t single-handedly employ a youth worker, coming together they raised the funds and are now reaching hundreds of youth people. You don’t need to be a big church to make a difference.

In terms of prison work, one thing worth highlighting is that the Oasis Community Learning trust, which is based in London, has just been awarded a contract to turn the Medway Secure Training Centre in Kent into a school for young offenders. This gives hope that second chances are possible and that new initiatives are being explored to help solve the current crisis.

“Rewriting the Story” is not easy and the names in black ink are still being added to the grey plastered wall. However, through daily prayer, listening to those effected by knife crime, and partnering with organisations, we can rewrite the story. My hope is that rather than adding new names in black ink onto the grey plastered wall, in the future, there will be new names in red ink of those who have been transformed, no longer involved in knife crime but helping others who are.

Urban Ministry in Church of England Birmingham

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

We are writing to invite you to a Consultation on Urban Ministry at Bishop’s Lodge on Thursday 3rd October at 10 am finishing with lunch.   In recent years, we have had an Estates Group and an Inner City Group.  This has worked well, but there is no longer capacity from inner city colleagues to continue convening that Group at the present moment.  Also a number of colleagues come to both, and national CofE estates strategy makes no distinction between inner city and outer estate parishes.

Therefore this might be the appropriate and opportune time to merge the two groups.   There are obvious benefits in working and gathering together as larger group bringing together as large a number of sharp end parishes as we can.   The Consultation will be an opportunity to look at the missional needs and opportunities  we face, to think through how best we serve one another, and to build relationships. You are also warmly invited to the following events:

Saturday 28th September, Birmingham Urban Congress, 10am – 4pm, Balsall Heath Church Centre. You can book your place by clicking on this link:

https://www.cognitoforms.com/CofeBirmingham/UrbanCongress2019

Wednesday 16th October, Birmingham National Estate Churches Network Group, 12.15 – 2.00 pm, St George’s, Newtown.

Wednesday 22nd January – Thursday 23rd January, Urban Residential, Cropthorne.

With prayers and thanks for your ministry,

Fr Douglas Machiridza            Canon Andy Delmege

National Justice and Peace Network Conference

41st Annual  Justice and Peace Conference 

26-28 July 2019

The Hayes Conference Centre,  Swanwick

National Justice and Peace Network with Church Action on Poverty

 

Pope Francis calls us to be ‘… a Church which is poor and for the poor’.  To be  with those on the margins as equal partners, enabling them to find their own solutions to the issues they face.

Conference 2019 will work with Church Action on Poverty who are undertaking a three year project to challenge the Churches about where they put their resources. It will hear from ‘communities of praxis’ who are already involved on the margins, and engage in social analysis and theological reflection from the perspective of those on the margins.

Join us in 2019 to explore mission, theological reflection and social action with people who have been pushed to the margins of society by poverty.

How can we  build churches that……….

  • are interested in building the kingdom, not growing the church;
  • listen  to voices from the margins
  • expect to be challenged and changed by our neighbours,
  • put an emphasis on sharing food and hospitality;
  • are hungry and thirsty for justice.

We will also hear inspiring and challenging  stories from churches and groups that are living out the vision of a ‘church for the poor’ – being church on the margins of our society.

Speakers:

Revd Deirdre Brower Latz: has worked as a pastor in urban/marginalised communities in Bristol and Manchester and  lectures at the Nazarene Theological College in Manchester.

Professor Anthony Reddie:  the leading scholar in the practice of Black theology in grassroots communities of faithful practice.

We will also hear inspiring and challenging stories from churches and groups that are living out the vision of a ‘church of the poor’ – being church on the margins of our society. (Speakers and chair for this session to be confirmed )

Conference Chair:

John Battle, former Labour MP, Chair of Leeds Justice & Peace Commission

Workshops

There will be workshops from a range of organisations and speakers, all looking creatively at how our churches can be more open to people on the margins.

Children and young people

Children and young people are a vital part of the NJPN conference. There will be a crèche for children under 5 and a programme of activities for 5–11-year-olds. 12–18-year-olds will explore the conference theme in an active and thought-provoking weekend.

NJPN is committed to the protection of children, young people and vulnerable people. People of all ages and backgrounds are welcome and encouraged to attend conference. Our rates for children and people on low incomes are subsidised. We count on the generous donations of those who can afford a little extra to make that possible

Conference booking forms

For email bookings:

Forgotten People Forgotten Places booking form (13)

For printing out and booking by post;

Forgotten People Forgotten Places leaflet (10)

Conference flyer:

Conference 2019 Flyer

Messy Church and Estates

 

Messy Churches on urban estates – research and discussion afternoon

Date: Saturday, 20 July 2019 – 2:00pm to 4:00pm
Venue: Holy Cross Church, Billesly Common, Birmingham B13 0NS

An opportunity to hear the results of Ellie Bloxham’s research into Messy Churches on urban estates and to discuss it with other people who are involved in Messy Churches on urban estates.

Click here to book a place

NECN Network London Conference – October 2019

National Estate Churches Network London Conference 2019

‘London Estate Churches – Rewriting the Story’

Thursday October 10th, 2019 10am to 4pm

St Thomas Kensal Town

An opportunity to be encouraged and resourced for estates ministry in London, as well as to share our good news and support each other in the challenges.

Programme for the day

10.00am Registration and Coffee
10.30am Welcome and Act of Worship, followed by an update from Andy Delmege on the NECN national Scene
11.15am Alan Everett and Mike Long – Responding to tragedy in our community (Grenfell)
12.00 Noon Comfort break
12:15pm Testimonies and Snapshots from Estate Churches
12:45pm Lunch (please bring your own or buy locally)
13:45pm ‘How Can Churches Rewrite the Story of Excluded Young People’
2:30pm Snapshots and Panel with questions

  • Getting Political: Working with an estate community to fight redevelopment plans
  • Doing Something New (Church Planting, etc)
  • Addressing Mental health and Isolation
  • Multi-Cultural Church: rewriting the historic story

3:30pm Final Response
4.00pm Depart or Stay to Network (Evening Prayer and Mass at 5pm)

Tea, coffee and water available throughout the day

To Book Your Ticket and for further details click here